“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island”– Walt Disney
Books are a man’s best friend. They introduce you to thoughts and places that you would have never dreamt of. They teach you the power of possibilities. With books, the world indeed is your playground. They ignite the power of imagination. Imagination is the beginning of creation. And creation leads to wonders.
Gift your child this power of imagination at a very young age by introducing them to the world of books and reading.
Here are 7 ways to inculcate reading habits in kids:
1. Start with pictorial storybooks:
Children love stories, and they love pictorial representations. Use pictorial story books whenever you recite a story to your kids. They will be able to visualize the story better and at the same time, they will develop an affinity towards books.
2. Develop a reading habit yourself too:
Children look up to you as role models. They practically try to ape everything you do. If you, yourself show a keen interest in reading, pursue reading as a hobby, and talk to them about the lessons that the book taught you, they will develop this belief that books are indeed good. This will encourage and help them befriend books.
3. Plan a fortnightly bookstore visit:
Introduce your child to the wide genre of children books that exist. Let them go through different sections and options of storybooks and decide for themselves, which books they liked. They might not be tempted to pick one during their first visit itself, but you will at least have introduced them to the world of books.
4. Plan a group reading session at your place:
Once a month, get your kid to invite all his/her friends for a group reading and reciting session at your place. Get your child’s most illustrative storybooks out and let them take turns at reading aloud different stories. You can make the session all the more fun by treating them with their favourite snacks and desserts.
5. Gift Books on special occasions:
Children look forward to gifts. Instead of gifting them a video game or a dress, gift them this tool of imagination. Gift them a book that you think they may like, or is in lines with a value that you want your child to learn. You can also attach a small note, mentioning why your child should read the book.
6. Create a reading arena:
Create a reading space in your child’s room. Have a colourful bookshelf and a cosy reading chair. Let your child decorate the arena as per his/her likes and they surely will love to spend time with their favourite books in their favourite corner of the house.
7. Do not force reading:
Let your kids be inclined towards reading naturally. Do not make it a rule that your child has to read and make it sound like a punishment. If you do that they may instead run further away from books. Instead, let them get acquainted with the books at their own pace.
Books are indeed like gold mines. Once your child befriends them, they will be by his/her side forever. Pave a way for your child to fall in love with reading and books!